Drummond, Gay on Team USA

John F. Silver

The University of Connecticut is well-represented on Team USA’s entrant into the World Cup of Basketball in Spain.

Former UConn small forward Rudy Gay and center Andre Drummond have made the final 12-man roster of Team USA.

Gay, now with the Kings, was added to the roster after Paul George’s injury and Kevin Durant leaving the team because he’s tired.

The Pistons’ Drummond, on the other hand, was a surprise selection as Mike Krzyzewski decided to go with as many bigs as possible with a showdown with Spain’s front line of Pay Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka possible.

One of the major surprise cuts was Blazers star Damian Lillard. Coach K obviously wanted to go with more inside play as he kept Mason Plumlee and Drummond on the roster.

Gay played two year’s at UConn and was on the 2006 team that was upset by George Mason in the Elite 8. Drummond played one year at UConn and the Middletown, Connecticut native is still a youngster and would have been a rising senior this year at UConn.

The full roster can be found here.



UConn men to play Ohio State, Arizona

John F. Silver

UConn announced a home-and-home schedule in men’s basketball with Ohio State and Arizona over the next four years.  

The Huskies will play Ohio State in 2015-16 in Connecticut and in Columbus in 2016-17 season.

UConn will play at Arizona in 2017-18 and home in 2018-19.

UConn is 2-3 all-time against Ohio State with win in the national semifinal in 1999 and in the NIT Championship game in 1988. UConn is 5-0 against Arizona, including a win in Anaheim, California in the West Regional final in 2011.


UConn men release non-conference schedule

John F. Silver

The UConn men’s basketball team will follow up its championship season with a non-conference schedule that will take them to Florida against the Gators, out to Texas and to New Jersey against Duke.

The full non-conference schedule can be found here.

The Huskies open the season against Bryant on Nov. 14. Highlights of the schedule include the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Nov. 20 against College of Charleston and a home game against Texas on Nov. 30. The Huskies do play Duke at the Meadowlands on Dec. 18 at the Izod Center and also play at Florida and at Stanford on Jan. 3 and Jan. 17 respectively.





Greats come out for Calhoun charity game

John F. Silver

From Ray Allen, to Donyell Marshall and Khalid El-Amin to Kemba Walker.

Jim Calhoun’s Charity Classic continues to be a living hall of fame game for Huskies greats.The game was secondary, though an El-Amin floater at the buzzer won a game for a 114-112 White team win over the Blue. 

There were many tidbits coming out of the Charity Classic, which was held for the seventh time.  The charity game benefits the Jim and Pat Calhoun Cardiology Center at the UConn health Center.

UConn’s basketball alumni are like a brotherhood. That’s what makes Tate George’s conviction in a Ponzi scheme difficult to swallow (Jacobs, Aug. 8). 

DeAndre Daniels is headed to Perth, Australia, to continue his basketball career. Daniels was drafted by the Raptors, but they want him to play internationally for one season (Borges, Aug. 8). 

“I look at it as a long vacation before I come back,” Daniels told the NH Register. “I’ll get better, just keep improving, but I don’t look at it as a negative. I’m just going to keep moving forward and God has a plan. It works out differently for everybody, not everybody has the same plan, so all I can control is what I control. That’s how hard I work and keep improving.”

Current UConn guard Ryan Boatright believes he’s better than a second round pick, that’s why he stayed in Storrs for his senior season (Amore, Aug. 8).

Rudy Gay was added to the USA Basketball roster after Paul George’s injury and Kevin Durant deciding not to play.

The Huskies displayed all four NCAA championship trophies at the game.



Judge rules for O’Bannon in NCAA likeness case

John F. Silver

Was Power 5 autonomy not enough?

The pillars of the NCAA came down again on Friday as a federal judge ruled in favor of former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon in the use if his image and likeness.

In a 99-page ruling, federal judge rules that prohibiting athletes from being paid for use of their names, images and likeness violate antitrust law because it “unreasonably restrain trade.” The ruling also allows for trust funds to be established for athletes to share in licensing revenue.

CBS Sports writer Jon Solomon has an excellent breakdown of the decision that ended the 5-year O’Bannon case:

A 99-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken issued an injunction “that will enjoin the NCAA from enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering their FBS football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid.” Wilken said the injunction will not prevent the NCAA from implementing rules capping the amount of money that may be paid to college athletes while they are enrolled in school, but the NCAA will not be allowed to set the cap below the cost of attendance.



DeAndre Daniels to play in Australia

John F. Silver

Former UConn forward DeAndre Daniels, a second round pick of the Raptors in June’s NBA Draft, will not join the NBA this season and will develop by playing in the Australian pro league (Yahoo! Australia).

Will Yeguete, DeAndre DanielsDaniels is expected to sign a deal with the Perth Wildcats of Australia in a bid to get him more ready for the rigors of the NBA.

Last year, James Ennis signed a one-year deal with Perth and came off that season and signed a deal with the Miami Heat.

Daniels left UConn after his junior year where he averaged 13.1 ppg for the national champion Huskies. He strongly considered returning, but decided to turn pro. He was not a first round pick, which would have guaranteed a salary.

The Raptors had encouraged Daniels to go to Europe for a year for seasoning, and he ended up in the Pacific replacing Ennis. Ennis did well in the NBL for Perth and was third in the league’s MVP voting. The language and cultural battier is minimal in English-speaking Australia and the climate is excellent in Perth for most of the year.

The Raptors drafted Bruno Caboclo with their first round pick, dubbed the Brazilian Kevin Durant by ESPN’s Fran Franschilla on draft night.

The Autonomy concerns: Keeping up with the Joneses

John F. Silver

 Everyone loves the autonomy of the “Power 5″ conferences. The move on Thursday by the NCAA Board of Directors to give the major conferences more say in how they do things was treated with almost universal support from the big athletic crowd.

Unless you are at Boise State, which is vehemently against this move, or a member of the Ivy and Colonial on philosophical grounds, this is exactly what you were looking for. The producers having a say in how they spend their money. It will give players a stipend, allow conferences to adapt quicker and allow the highest divisions in college athletics to meet the needs. The rules can’t be the same for Texas and Texas State. They are playing on different levels.

UConn moved up to Division I-A over a decade ago so it wouldn’t be left behind in this mix. The prophetic former athletic director in Lew Perkins rightly saw the football dominance coming and positioned UConn to be a part of it.

To read more of this story, click here

American Athletic commissioner Mike Aresco on autonomy

John F. Silver

American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco released a statement supporting the NCAA Board of Directors on Power 5 autonomy:  

“We are pleased that the NCAA Governance Redesign Model was adopted today by the NCAA Board of Directors. We extend our congratulations to Dr. Nathan Hatch and to the NCAA Steering Committee for its excellent work in designing a model that we believe will enjoy broad acceptance. We also appreciate the exemplary efforts of our NCAA Board representative, Dr. John Hitt of UCF, and our Conference Board chair, Dr. Gerald Turner of SMU, who were deeply engaged in this process.

“Our conference membership supports the new governance model and the opportunities it will present to enhance the student-athlete experience and student-athlete welfare. Our presidents and athletic directors are steadfast in their commitment to these ideals and also to providing our student-athletes with the ability to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics.”


UConn’s Susan Herbst on Power 5 autonomy

John F. Silver

College athletic has changed as we know it on Thursday with an NCAA Board of Directors voting to give the Power 5 conferences — those with the largest revenue streams — autonomy from the rest of Division I Athletics and the ability to write many of their own rules. The decision on autonomy was 16-2 in favor.

Here’s a synopsis from the AP on the ground-breaking legislation:

Representatives from the five richest leagues — the ACC,  Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — will hold nearly twice as much voting power (37.5 percent) as any other group on a newly created council, where most legislation will be approved or rejected. The five other Football Bowl Subdivision leagues would account for 18.5 percent while the second-tier Football Championship Subdivision and non-football playing schools would split up another 37.5 percent of the vote. Athletes and faculty will account for the rest.

The power conferences want to be able to push through legislation just for their group, such cost-of-attendance stipends and insurance benefits for player and also staff sizes, recruiting rules and other things that may arise.

There are 65 schools in the Power 5 Conferences.

The Power 5 will also construct an 80-member panel, which will include 15 current players, to determine policies for those five leagues. This Power 5 group will also have more voting power than the other schools and conferences.

UConn is on the outside looking in of this structure, though the Huskies have pledged to mirror many of the policies of those power schools.

UConn President Susan Herbst reiterated on Thursday that UConn’s practices and goals align closely with the Power 5:

“The philosophies and practices we use to run athletics here at UConn are very closely aligned with those used in the five conferences seeking more autonomy,” Herbst said. “The NCAA vote allows institutions to provide their student-athletes with more support, and we too strive for this, of course.

“We just had another superb year, with two national basketball championships and another in field hockey.   And we hired one of the most sought-after coaches in the country to lead our football program — Bob Diaco.   UConn will continue to be a leader and national powerhouse on the athletic scene, across sports, after the vote and well beyond.”


UConn men to open Puerto Rico Tip-Off against Charleston

The UConn men’s basketball team will open the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Nov. 20 against the College of Charleston.

UConn, depending on how they do, will play the winner or loser of the Texas A&M and Dayton game.

UConn is 2-0 all-time against College of Charleston, defeating the Cougars, 68-52, on Nov. 24, 1990, in Gampel Pavilion and 77-60 on Dec. 27, 1995, in Charleston. Against the remainder of the teams in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the Huskies are 0-2 against Dayton, 2-1 against Texas A&M, 55-35 against Boston College, 1-1 against New Mexico, 0-1 against George Mason and 16-5 against West Virginia.

Other teams playing in the tournament are Boston College, George Mason, New Mexico and West Virginia.

The first game will air at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Full schedule below:  To read more of this story, click here